India’s Election Commission gets techie arrested
A city-based computer engineer who demonstrated the vulnerability of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to tampering was taken into custody by the Mumbai police from his residence in Madhapur locality here on Saturday morning.
The Mumbai police was investigating the case of a ‘missing EVM’ from the Mumbai collectorate and the same machine was reportedly used for the ‘vulnerability demonstration’ by the technologist, Hari K. Prasad, in April last.
Mr. Prasad, managing director of a Hyderabad-based technology firm NetIndia, had taken the help of two other researchers – a Michigan University professor J. Alex Halderman and a Holland-based technology activist Rop Gonggrijp, to demonstrate that EVMs used in India could be tampered by altering small components of the machine.
The researchers had used a genuine EVM in their ‘vulnerability demonstration’ on April 28 and the Election Commission of India had then rejected the claim outright. After video footage of the demonstration showed the serial number of the EVM, authorities found that one of the EVMs in Mumbai collectorate was ‘stolen’ and a case registered in MRA Marg station on May 13. (via The Hindu : Today’s Paper News : Missing EVM: techie arrested).
This is strange
The Indian Election Commission should have invited these people for pointing out the fallibility of these machines and collaborated to find ways to ensure that election rigging does not happen.
It must be pointed out that that Mumbai police had earlier served a notice on him on August 6 asking him to appear before them. He could have easily applied for an anticipatory bail and appeared before the police. Seems like a case bad legal advice!
Indian oligarchy takes over
For the last 1 year, there has been a rising chorus that India is a becoming a police state and power is being handed over to an oligarchy. India seemed so unlike the US with a prison population of 20 lakh people. With harmless people like Vikram Buddhi languishing in US prison for the last few years.
Instead of public sector, a new oligarchy is taking over India. It is an unholy collusion between the rich and the powerful. What seemed like a retreat of the State seems to be now simply a privatization of power. What was earlier being managed by the ‘inefficient’ public sector has now been rented out to the ‘effective’ private sector.
India has to be ‘modern’ ‘efficient’ – and vindictive
The Electronic Voting Machines were a movement towards this ‘efficiency’.All that is needed is a printer attachment which will give a paper-printout of the ballot. This printout must also be put in a ballot box. A random audit in case of a suspected fraud will become fool-proof.
Is this a simple case of a few days of custodial interrogation to put the fear of the State into such ‘loose cannons’ or a vindictive State? We will know in a few days.
The Vindictive State, Mian Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi, (our esteemed Chief Election Commissioner) is not something that Indians will tolerate. I hope you have your history lessons right. If you have been a student of colonial history, which talks of a mythical, supine, Indian population that believes in non-violence, you may get an unpleasant surprise.
- Hot debate over Electronic Voting Machines (thehindu.com)
- Tamperproof? Scientists hack into Indian voting machine (news.bbc.co.uk)